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Car Insurance Optional Coverage

Car insurance optional coverage is any area of protection that is available for drivers aside from what is required by the home state in which they live and their car is registered. Auto insurance is a state level issue and the laws and regulations surrounding this policy type are determined by the individual states. One thing the different regions have in common is requirements mandating car insurance. With Wisconsin now on board, only New Hampshire remains as a state not requiring auto coverage. So for the vast majority of Americans across the country, the reality of the situation is that as drivers, even when it's high risk driver insurance we're after, we have to figure in the cost of insurance to the overall cost of owning and driving a vehicle.

Insurance Requirements Vary by State

Auto insurance is required according to state laws everywhere. But the specifics of those laws can vary tremendously. For example, in many states the only coverage required is liability insurance. And even among those states, the specific type of liability coverage mandated for state licensed insurers and the levels required for drivers to carry vary as we cross the borders between them. And then there are those states which also require other options like uninsured coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). It is hard to make a generalization about national requirements because the character of the laws is so very regional in its nature.

Still the blanket statement that auto insurance is generally required for American drivers is reasonably accurate and comprehensive enough for a general discussion of the state of things. Another general observation worth noting is this: although the vast majority of drivers try to do everything they can to save money on their premiums, the cheapest policy is not always the best deal. Even if two plans appear to include the same types and limits of coverage and the same deductibles, the more expensive of the two may be the better value if it is backed by a company that offers better customer service and more responsiveness to claims and other emergencies. The purpose of auto insurance is, after all, protection for you and your car.

If we can search free auto insurance quotes to find reasonably priced coverage from a great company that we know provides excellent coverage to its subscribers and prides itself on customer service, it is a good value even if it is not the very cheapest price. Of course, even with this being the case, principle clashes with economic reality here for those of us who have no choice but to opt for the cheapest insurance or go without. It is always better to have some insurance than none at all. If all you can manage is cut rate coverage with high deductibles, at least it keeps you from getting ticketed for no insurance in an accident or when getting pulled over at a traffic stop.

Benefits of Added Coverage

But the majority of drivers across the country are not in this predicament, thankfully. So if all other things are equal, it pays to thoughtfully consider the different optional areas of coverage insurers in your state are offering. In some areas selected parts of a policy must be offered according to state law even if they are not required. One common example is uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you from having to directly deal with the financial expenses that normally would be handled by the other driver in the event of an accident with an uninsured motorist who was to blame for the crash.

As drivers we could take these negligent parties to court over our losses. But the time and expense of the process, couple with the fact that there is not even any guarantee of winning the case, means for a lot of drivers a more practical solution is just to file a claim on their uninsured motorist policy and let their insurer handle any litigation they wish to go forward with to recover the losses.

Collision insurance is another optional area of protection as far as states are concerned. It is obvious that collision coverage protects drivers from financial losses dealing with damages to their own vehicles in accidents regardless of fault. Often drivers open a claim on their own collision policy and get paid for their property loss even if they were not at fault, and then the insurer goes after the other driver's insurance company to get reimbursed. These things usually wind up in negotiations among the insurers, and this points to a hidden benefit of good car insurance in general: the capability of taking covered drivers out of direct involvement in financial disputes following claim events. We get paid for our losses or our insurer pays out on our behalf and life goes on. Car insurance optional coverage can be very valuable.


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